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East Village: NYC Walking Tour

The historic (and historically funky) downtown neighborhood now flaunts a sophisticated side.
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Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  Once an enclave of immigrants, then the refuge of bohemians fleeing West Village rents, NYC’s East Village is now firmly established... more »

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Points of Interest

Hoteliers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode—the team behind New York’s Maritime Hotel—are breathing new life into Manhattan’s once-desolate Bowery with their 135-room Bowery Hotel. Entering the lobby is like stepping into a pre-Raphaelite painting: a Gothic fireplace, Oriental rugs over a Moroccan-tiled floor. Rooms are pure vintage-repro, down to... More

You’ll sometimes spot a boldface name, sans entourage, sipping cappuccino and tucking into a plate of haloumi eggs at this sunny, busy Moroccan café that has been a magnet for artists, musicians, and writers since it opened in 1983. Besides traditional tagines and mint tea, the kitchen turns out an affordable and hearty breakfast menu, too.... More

The Ukrainian couple Wolodymyr and Olha Darmochawal traveled to New York to escape war in their own country, and inspired by fellow immigrants in the East Village, they opened a candy and newsstand in 1954 that eventually became the famous Veselka. Today, the 24-hour restaurant is open seven days a week allowing hungry diners to satisfy their... More

This sleek, wooden East Village noodle bar has the right kind of hype—not the high-gloss, flashy, media type, but the street level, word-of-mouth kind. The reason? Traditional Japanese noodle dishes with a heavy American accent, all served a space that feels something like being belowdecks on a wooden ship. The house variety, and clear favorite,... More

Chef Sara Jenkins’ tiny storefront take-away features a well-lit display case of its namesake succulent roast pork, great soups and sides (potatoes and burnt ends are a must), but only seven seats at the narrow counter. If you can’t nab a stool or a bench in front, take your lunch down the block to Tompkins Square Park for some people-watching. ... More

Part supermarket and part community center for the ever-increasing Japanese population in the famously diverse East Village, Sunrise Market is a veritable one-stop shop hidden away on the second floor of a Third Avenue locale. The interior is brightly and cheerfully lit, and the wide aisles are filled to bursting with hard-to-find Asian goods,... More

This beloved shop is a necessary stop for book lovers and anyone interested in the glory days of the East Village. The neighborhood institution carries a little bit of everything, including many titles you won’t find at chain bookstores: extensive poetry and small press offerings, critical theory books, art and photography tomes, and a strong... More

8. Dinosaur Hill

Window displays packed full of furry stuffed animals, wooden play sets, and handmade clothes draw those young and young at heart into this East Village shop. In 1983, five ladies joined together to open Dinosaur Hill, providing alternatives to the increasing number of electronic toys. Over the years, the store has become a staple due to its... More

Since the tiny shop’s designs started showing up in photos of starlets and rockers a decade ago, the neighborhood’s secret is out but still worth a visit. Here you’ll find great dresses that are feminine without being girly, and well-structured without being stiff. Open daily, 1 p.m.–7 p.m.

Address:
350 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10009
United... More

10. Lancelotti Housewares

This attractive (and nice-smelling) shop sells space-saving, stylish, and smart housewares. You don’t have to live in a closet-sized apartment to enjoy its great products. Open daily, around noon–around 7 pm.

Address:
66 Ave. A
New York, NY 10009
United States

Phone:
(212) 475-6851

The lack of space, or chairs, allows you to focus on the perfect cup of coffee at Abraco's Espresso Bar in the East Village. In the tiny but cheerful bar, famous barista and co-owner Jamie McCormick grinds and brews each cup of coffee to order. Of course, these are no ordinary beans—they come from North Carolina's Counter Culture Coffee. And if... More

Head to this intimate restaurant right off Tompkins Square Park for giddily inventive cocktails, beautiful William Morris wallpaper, and Chef Garrett Eagleton’s inspired menu, which includes such suggested pairings as gin/burrata/braised celery. Open daily from 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Address:
162 Ave. A
New ... More

13. Mono+Mono

Housed in a former foodcart garage, this mostly-Korean hot spot offers a space far more expansive than most in this low-rise neighborhood. A vinyl jazz collection 30,000 albums strong lines one wall, and the bar offers, among cocktails and impressive beers, fruit-infused sojus—the Korean distilled rice drinks are a revelation to the uninitiated.... More

Living up to the restaurant’s name, the servers at Hearth, located near Stuyvesant Town, are committed to providing old-fashioned, small town hospitality to their guests. The restaurant's interior features a pleasing blend of exposed red brick walls, polished wooden tables, ceiling beams with recessed lights, and a few contemporary touches, like... More

The consistent freshness of the fish is what keeps this East Village restaurant afloat in a city full of sushi options. While the unassuming storefront glows with the bright lighting, many pass by often without noticing the narrow dining room filled with simple wood tables and chairs and a sushi bar. Huge, uniform pieces of brightly colored salmon... More

A small, East Village wine bar owned by Marco Canora and Paul Grieco, famous for their work at neighboring Hearth Restaurant, Terroir celebrates everything wine. The dining room, with a red ceiling and bubble-like light fixtures, has only 24 seats, and the menu is provided in a decorated binder. Grieco has created a list of international wines... More

17. PDT

Short for Please Don’t Tell, this East Village bar’s name reflects its speakeasy vibe. The bar is only accessible through the phone booth at the back of Crif Dogs, a St. Mark's Place restaurant serving hot dogs. The small, retro-inspired space is dimly lit and has exposed brick walls adorned with an assortment of taxidermied animals. Inside,... More

Inspired by the 1920's speakeasy motif, this New York bar is sequestered behind a large, wooden door. The interior provides the perfect chic atmosphere for enjoying the cocktail creations of Thomas Waugh, with dark banquettes and tables dimly lit by small chandeliers and candles. Waugh’s cocktails include the Rita Hayworth (made with pineapple-... More

Once the site of a chapel on Peter Stuyvesant’s farm, St. Mark’s is more than just a church: the sanctuary does double duty as a performance space and plays as much a part in the neighborhood’s cultural history as in its history of worship. Check the churchyard’s gravestones for a veritable Who’s Who of 19th century New York families, including... More

The East Village’s “backyard” is a humble patch of reclaimed swamp land where urban dwellers come to play chess, play with their kids, watch birds of prey, kick a soccer ball, practice guitar, join a pickup basketball game, or just watch. The bandshell (site of performances by Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and hundreds of hopeful punk bands)... More